Brussels, April 10, 2010—- Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation and former Deputy PM of Malaysia Tun Musa Hitam was awarded the prestigious Prix de la Fondation (Foundation’s Award) at the Gala Dinner of The Crans Montana Forum on Africa, in Brussels last night.
Established in 1989, the Prix de la Fondation recognises men and women from all over the world who are committed to social responsibility. Previous winners include US President Barack Obama, HRH Sheika Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the Queen of Bahrain, the President and First Lady of Mozambique and the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Luxembourg.
Tun Musa, in his capacity as the Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation, received the award for his contribution in bringing together the rich and poor nations through business.
The WIEF is dedicated to building bridges through business between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Tun Musa said “the fact that I am receiving this award after merely 6 years of the WIEF’s existence is a huge encouragement for us to continue our endeavour,” Tun Musa said.
The Crans Montana Forum applauded Tun Musa’s achievements in awarding the prize: “As Chairman of WIEF, we honour Tun Musa’s exceptional ability to connect worlds that people are traditionally inclined to reject.”
“We live in a world where only 2% of the population controls 50% of the world’s wealth, while 50% of the population owns barely 1% of that wealth. This is something we cannot solve by humanitarian aid alone. The only way to save impoverished communities is to give them the gift of life, the education and tools to start their own businesses and the god-given ability to think and create for the society that they live in.” he said.
Tun Musa accepted the award alongside other award winners who included Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank and Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank.
Tun Musa is also the Chairman of Sime Darby, the world’s largest producer of sustainable palm oil – and Yayasan Sime Darby, which promotes the human quest for learning, knowledge, meaning, goodwill and understanding, particularly in countries in which Sime Darby has business interests.
The honour for Tun Musa comes as the 6th World Islamic Economic Forum returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this year, following successful Forums held in Islamabad, Kuwait and Jakarta. It will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 18 to 20 May 2010.
Bearing the theme ‘Gearing for Economic Resurgence’, the 6th WIEF will be officially opened by the Hon. Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and Patron of the WIEF Foundation. The Forum is expected to bring together some 2,000 participants comprising world leaders and members of the global business community.